Games, Sustainable Cities

Does the Earth Like Smog?

What is smog? What causes smog in cities? Which activities enhance smog formation? Are any activities forbidden, because they increase air pollution levels (making bonfires, burning magazines or trash)? Which activities can improve air quality (planting trees, using public transport, biking)? Can a child have any impact on the reduction of smog levels? Here is our proposal of a thought-provoking game, which creates space for an extensive discussion about activities, which can help make the air cleaner.

Print and laminate two boards with images of the Earth (available for download above). Place the boards where they can be easily visible (on the blackboard, on the door or on the wall). Print, laminate and cut out the game cards (available for download above). Stick a piece of a double-sided adhesive tape or a double-sided foam adhesive square to the back of each card.

Ask the children to sit on the carpet in a semicircle not too far away from the two Earth boards. We start the game by describing and comparing images on both boards. Here are some sample questions to ask the children: Why do you think the Earth on the first board is happy? What can you see in there? Does the air look clean? Is the Earth on the other board equally happy? Why not? What is covering her nose and mouth?

After this brief introduction, we move on to the game. We draw a card and ask the children what they can see on it. We ask them to explain if the given object or activity can make the Earth happy or sad. Pick one child to stick the card on board no. 1 or board no. 2.

Some cards can have a double meaning:

  • light bulb (if we choose energy-efficient light bulbs and turn off lights each time we are not using them, the Earth will be happy);
  • electric car (it does not emit exhaust fumes, but you do need power to charge its batteries);
  • bus (bike is the best means of transportation, but if you are not able to use one, take a bus rather than drive a car).